This is the time of year when nearly all of Kentuckiana talks little else than college basketball. As selection Sunday is now upon us there are teams that have already won automatic bids, those who are no doubt in, those left out, and a large number of bubble teams. For those teams on the bubble, the NCAA Tournament Committee looks at their season’s results and determines their worthiness for inclusion in March Madness. Sports channels, even the local news, report what bubble teams coaches have to say about their teams’ chances of making it in the “big dance”. Here’s what one coach said after a possibly season-ending loss, “My thing right now is, the good news is everyone seems to be losing and I just hope we’re the best of the bad right now. That’s what I’m hoping.”

You might wonder why I’m talking about basketball on a Christian blog. Our guest speaker at Cherry Street recently, Paul Kitzmiller, said many people are looking for the minimum requirements for salvation. He further said that we should be striving to more fully serve and obey God rather than doing the least we can. When we stand before God, it won’t help to tell Him we “deserve” to get in because we weren’t all THAT bad, or we were at least better than others. Of course, we are not saved by works but by faith. However, James, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit said, “What good is it…if someone claims to have faith but had no deeds? Can such faith save them….faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead…Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by by my deeds.”

It doesn’t matter how good that coach thinks his team is, but what they have proven this season on the court. It doesn’t matter how deserving we think we are of heaven. It is our relationship with Jesus Christ that assures us of eternal salvation. It is that relationship that spurs us to do our utmost for Him. The Apostle Paul said, “Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Let’s not lose heart. As His kingdom is fast approaching we should be more and more about our Lord’s business. There is no excuse for being “on the bubble” of heaven’s gate.